The Washington Capitals have dealt Dainius Zubrus to the Buffalo Sabres.
In return, the Capitals get Buffalo’s first round pick in this year’s draft, and Jiri Novotny. The Sabres will also get defenseman Timo Hellbing from Washington’s American Hockey League affiliate Hershey Bears.
Washington got good return for a player rental. General manager George McPhee has not been able to reach a contract extension with Zubrus and his agent, and with the Caps’ playoff hopes over, they have to look past the current season.
Novotny definitely will not have the immediate impact that Zubrus was having in this year’s line-up. He’s only 23-years old and has only played in 64 National Hockey League games. He’s a big kid with excellent skills though, and has strong upside.
The Washington Capitals will have the opportunity to sign Zubrus in the off season if they so desire anyway. He is free to sign with anyone he likes, and that list of teams obviously includes the Washington Capitals. The Sabres needed help for a run at the Stanley Cup, and McPhee took advantage of a seller’s market. The Sabres gave up a fair bit for Zubrus’ part time services in an attempt to stay competitive while decimated with injuries.
The Capitals now have four draft picks in the first two rounds of this year’s draft, two in each round. It’s a good draft class, and the Capitals should be able to add some more good young players to their stable.
Edit: This blog was archived in May of 2016 from our original articles database.It was originally posted by Mark Solway